Sunday, September 07, 2008

Running from Reality

Following link is to Bob Herbert's column today -- telling the truth about McCain and what his presidency would be like. We can only hope that the numbers of those voters who want yet another Bush term are dwindling. I fear, though, that too many Americans are easily swayed by right wing propaganda, which has, in the past eight years, already led us down a devastating path to near-destruction of our country's founding principles. Religious fervor wedded to ignorance does not bode well for astute voting decisions by the "dittoheads" who follow Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.

A corporate insider in the Bush-Cheney mold, Phil Gramm was thought to be in line to serve as treasury secretary in a McCain administration until July when he put his foot very publicly in his mouth. To Senator McCain’s great embarrassment, Mr. Gramm dismissed the economic downturn as a “mental recession” and complained that the U.S. had become a “nation of whiners.”

That may have been a political no-no, but it was an accurate expression of the slavish devotion of the G.O.P. to the rich and powerful among us, and of the party’s contempt for the interests of working families and the poor. Senator McCain, it should be noted, fully shared Mr. Gramm’s anti-regulatory zeal.

This is an odd crowd, indeed, to be offering itself as a champion for working people.

Senator McCain has been a virtuoso at schmoozing and using the press, which he once jokingly referred to as his base. Much of the press has eagerly collaborated in the idea of him as an outsider, a maverick — in some sense an American everyman. But Mr. McCain, who has been in Washington for more than a quarter of a century, was always embedded with the forces on the side of the corporate aristocracy.

He didn’t just stumble into the toxic relationships that got him into trouble with the Keating Five. And there was a reason for the closeness of his bond with Phil Gramm.

The populists’ garb hangs awkwardly on the frame of John McCain. Everyman he ain’t.